OnlyFans is about to be massive: brands must act

by Jolyon Varley
Social Media

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In the past, users have been happy enough to work in exchange for virtual trinkets: likes, re-tweets and shares. A raft of platforms is allowing people to monetise the stuff they put online. For instance, newsletter publisher Substack connects writers to audiences who want to pay for their writing. Gaming community Roblox allows hobbyist developers to hawk amateur creations. Cameo is a site that pays celebrities to film personalised messages. But while many of these services cater to specific areas of interest, there is one network that requires more attention than the rest: OnlyFans.

Like a few newish social networks – TikTok and Clubhouse, for instance – OnlyFans saw a surge in use when lockdowns were introduced in 2020. According to figures published in The Guardian, OnlyFans had 30m registered users and 450,000 creators in Spring last year. By March 2021, those numbers had rocketed to 120m and 1m, respectively. In 2020 the site’s creators collected over $2bn in fees.


Right now, OnlyFans is trying to raise cash. Bloomberg reports that the site is in talks to find new funding with a valuation of $1bn. The strategy? Become more of a mainstream platform and play down its reputation for adult content. There is a colossal opportunity for brands courageous enough to experiment with the platform. At OK COOL, we got a glimpse of the potential in OnlyFans when we put together a campaign for My/Mochi Ice Cream. To coincide with the US National Ice Cream month in July (does a whole month seem excessive to anyone else?) we encouraged people to share their ‘Mmm Face’ – the expression you make when a My/Mochi melts in your mouth. By including OnlyFans creators in the campaign, we were able to take it to a slightly more risqué place.

Russell Barnett, MD and CMO of My/Mochi put it well:

“We’re challenging snackers to show us what My/Mochi’s desquishiousness does for them by sharing their Mmm Face with the world,” he said, “even if that means getting a little NSFW.”

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The future as we see it

I think the opportunity for brands in the coming years is clear: use OnlyFans as a means of connecting with audiences in a specialised, intimate and tailored way. The site enables creators and fans to chat with each other, meaning the chance for real facetime with idols. Meanwhile, the live format means that compared to Instagram or Twitter, where creators can project a polished image of themselves, OnlyFans feels more honest, truthful and authentic.

Want to know how to make the right moves on OnlyFans? OK COOL’s team of creatives and strategists can help. Drop us an email at

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